Looking to build new and improved facilities for a growing student body, the Davis Academy has launched a $7.5 million capital campaign for its Sandy Springs campus.
The biggest addition to the Reform Jewish day school will be a $3.9 million, 600-seat performing arts center. The project also includes a 3,000-square-foot spiritual and community gathering space, a dining hall and kosher kitchen, and state-of-the-art, adaptable learning spaces.
The school hopes to break ground on the facilities in the spring and complete construction by December 2016.
“The Davis Academy has never really rested,” Head of School Amy Shafron said. “We have accomplished so much in our 23 years, and we’re very much known for an education that is progressive, forward-thinking and innovative. Educational trends are moving so quickly that you need to have the kind of spaces and learning resources that enable kids to get the finest education. We want to make sure that our school environment supports the most progressive, forward-thinking and advanced educational programs possible.”
The campaign to raise $7.5 million recently entered its public phase after a year spent privately seeking donors. Shafron said everyone is welcome to contribute gifts of all levels, and numerous naming recognition opportunities are available for high-level donors.
The school’s last capital campaign was more than 12 years ago and helped to establish the Middle School building, which opened in August 2005. The current campaign aims to meet increased facility needs at both buildings and to improve group-based learning and communal interaction among students.
“Day schools are a very important component of the Jewish experience,” campaign co-chair Jon Leven said. “I did not have the opportunity to go to one, but it was extremely impactful on my children, who attended Davis. Whether it’s Davis or Epstein or any other Jewish day school, I just feel that we as a community should be supportive of those institutions.”
The new performing arts center will be 10,000 square feet and will sit behind the Lower School media center. The auditorium will be slightly smaller than the 700-seat auditorium at Atlanta Jewish Academy’s Sandy Springs campus and more than double the size of the 253-seat Morris & Rae Frank Theatre at the Marcus Jewish Community Center.
“The Atlanta Jewish community has always generously stood by the Davis Academy, helping it to become the largest Reform Jewish day school in the country,” Shafron said. “Davis has always been a community enterprise, so it’s thrilling to see generations, past, present and future, participating and helping to sustain the school.”